Sunday, 14 June 2015




 Join is at charming riverside venue  Lily's Tea House, with an inspiring line-up of  established voices & open mic readers on 4 July 2015. The room is intimate so booking is advised: 01303 243868 or email

A welcome return from lyrically gifted Irish bard    
Drama-fuelled verse from the dynamic duo         
Poetry & music with Chinese influences .   
 Sign up early to guarantee a chance to read                     
Lily’s Tea House is a fully-licensed Chinese restaurant. Hot food available before the show
 8pmSaturday 4 July 2015      
 LILY's TEA HOUSE, 2 The Long Shop, Merton Abbey Mills
Merantun Way, SW19 2RD
 £5 & 4 – just £4 for open mic readers and other concessions.
Bookings: 01303  243868  or 07769  777022
0782 5564557 (Tea House); Colliers Wood Tube;200 bus

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Steve Lobb and Carol Kenna at Greenwich Open studios



an artwork by pr murry in

Pure Painting: at BAR gallery

An exhibition dedicated to contemporary painting. Pure Painting is open to all forms of painting styles, techniques and mediums, examining the varied approaches used and its place within contemporary art practice.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Kick out Ahell, bring back Candy! National gallery protest

Thousands join PCS National Gallery #M30 rally

1 June 2015
Thousands of people called for an end to victimisation and privatisation at the National Gallery as they rallied in Trafalgar Square on Saturday afternoon.
National Gallery 30 May rally
PCS members have been on strike for more than 30 days against the gallery's decision to privatise up to 400 of its 600 staff including those who look after security of the paintings, look after 6 million visitors a year and handle requests for information about the collection, complaints and school bookings. Today they have started their 31st day of action and are on strike until Thursday (4 June).

They are also protesting over the sacking of senior rep Candy Udwin. 
Yellow and blue PCS flags fluttered in the breeze as speaker after speaker took to the stage to make passionate speeches calling on the gallery bosses to halt their privatisation plan and stop victimising Candy.

PCS president Janice Godrich hailed the ‘brilliant turnout’. She said: "We’re here to send a clear message to that building over there that we are not going to allow victimisation or privatisation. And we’re also here to tell that lot sitting down there in Downing Street that over the next five years they are going to meet constant obstruction and protest."

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka agreed: "We are so proud of the strikers. We will not give way to the speculators and spivs who want to see the privatisation of everything."

He praised the ‘incredible commitment’ of the strikers and the courage of Candy: "People in that building should hang their heads in shame," he said. "Victory to the National Gallery strikers."

Victory to the strikers

Labour MP John McDonnell and trade unionionst including Christine Blower from the NUT and Steve Turner from Unite added their voices to the strikers and activists all demanding the end of privatisation and victimisation.

Film director Ken Loach was among a number of celebrity supporters representing the arts. Addressing the crowd, he said: "It’s not often you get to speak in front of the enemy in such an impressive building, but I’ll tell you one thing, it’s not half as impressive as the people on this stage."

To loud cheers for the assembled strikers, he added: "These people here represent the very best of the struggles of the trade unions. Victory to the strikers."

The loudest cheers of all however were reserved for Candy, who was initially suspended in February before the first of several strikes at the gallery, and then sacked last month.

Together we can win

To prolonged applause, Candy told the crowd: "We’re not going to let them privatise the gallery and turn it into a playground for the rich. We’re not going to let them bully or silence us. This government is giving the green light to employers like the National Gallery. This government is coming for us and they are going to attack freedom of speech and our trade union rights and our human rights. But it simply shows they are scared of us."

Candy called for more strikes, protests and solidarity in the fight against austerity and privatisation.
"If what they’re scared of is strikes we need more strikes," she said. "If we can do it, anybody can do it. If you’d told us we’d be taking 5 or 6 weeks of strike action we wouldn’t have believed you. There is only one reason why we can do it – and that is you. Your solidarity with us. The support we’ve had has kept us going. Together we can win and turn the tide."

This was a cry that was echoed again and again throughout the afternoon.

As Mark took the stage once more at the end of the rally, he explained that the strikers lined up in front of the stage were all wearing gags to symbolise that they have been banned from talking to the press.

He led huge cheers for the strikers and said that the fight against privatisation would go on, and that when it was won everyone would come together again to celebrate. He said: "When we work together, we are stronger. We are going to fight privatisation and reinstate Candy."

Read our round-up of web and social media coverage.

Support the strikers - visit their picket line outside the gallery and donate to their strike fund.

Romayne Phoenix, Green Party at National Gallery Strike Solidarity Demo by Martin Francis

FPS member Alex McIntyre Selected for Prestigious Art Fair

FPS Member Alex McIntyre has been selected from international submissions to exhibit in Art Fair East, one of the major regional art fairs in the UK. Alex is a fellow at Digswell Arts and will be exhibiting as Digswell Artists with Gill Ayre, Ella Carty, and Mandy Wax.

Art Fair East’s co-founder Will Teather said:
 “We are delighted to have Digswell Artists taking part in our 2015 event. We have had a fantastic range of submissions of high quality contemporary art, from across the UK and overseas. Art Fair East aims to showcase the best the art-world has to offer to a wide audience of collectors, art professionals and the general public.”

Digswell Artist, Gill Ayre:
“We are thrilled to have been selected from international submissions for Art Fair East 2015. This is an exciting opportunity to reach new audiences with our work. We plan on displaying artworks themed around the concept of internal and external landscapes, and the relationships between the two."

Digswell Artists are a group of 4 artists with links to Digswell Arts Trust, a studio
provider and incubator for emerging artists in Hertfordshire:

Gill Ayre’s work is an emotional and contemplative response to landscape,
inviting the viewer to stop, to look, to take time. Her processes are equally
meditative, employing the use of loose wet paint with splashes and drips from
which a semblance of landscape emerges.

Alex McIntyre uses experimental drawing to explore processes of seeing,
questioning and mark making. Her current work has evolved through a
practice of running, walking and drawing at moments of inspiration and in
response to perceived beauty.

Mandy Wax’s work is largely influenced by the study of Philosophy and
Psychoanalysis. She is interested in exploring and expressing our innermost
ideas and feelings. This current body of work focuses on the relationship and
transition between states of anxiety, tranquillity, comfort and security.

Ella Carty uses a variety of materials and is concerned with sensation and
expression, often reflecting upon remembered feelings, people or
places. Using an instinctive process, she is interested in the task of
representing emotion and making images out of feelings.

Art Fair East takes place at St Andrews Hall, Norwich, and is open to the public from 5th-7th June 2015. More details of the event can be found at